History tells us Swedish motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna introduced a new model called Silverpilen (Silver Arrow) in January 1955, basing the name on Mercedes' icon race car. This was the era of James Dean and Porsche Spyders and shiny hand-hammered aluminum motorsport bodies, and Husqvarna waggled a carrot in front of young, impassioned riders, tempting them to crack open their wallets for a 165-pound bike with a frame-mounted engine, hydraulic dampers and a telescopic fork. By 1964, 11,300 Silverpilens were made and 11,300 riders were stoked to the gills.
Fast-forward 63 years, and Husqvarna has once again created new machines to stir youthful souls: its Vitpilen (White Arrow) and Svartpilen (Black Arrow) 701 and 401 models land in the US in a month, with price tags of $11,999 and $6,299, respectively.
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
“What is fascinating for designers working for Husqvarna is that they are the oldest of brands; they have heritage and history, but they also are a huge pioneering brand,” Husqvarna streetbike senior designer Maxime Thouvenin said. “Our goal with the Vitpilen and Svartpilen was to capture the essence of the past, but done in the most modern, progressive way.”
2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
“Being approachable is not something new; Husqvarna always did something approachable for people,” Thouvenin added. “It’s a very Swedish or Scandinavian design approach; it’s all functional, very minimalist, very reduced in everything they did. And this perfectly makes sense with what we’re trying to achieve now because that is also very much Scandinavian.”